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State&mdash;Level Variations in Racial Disparities in Life Expectancy

Keywords: Life expectancy;disparity;black;United States.

Objective: To explore state patterns in the racial life expectancy gap.

Data Source: The 1997—2004 Multiple Cause of Death PUF, 2000 U.S. Census.

Study Design: We calculated life expectancy at birth for black and white men and women.

Data Extraction Methods: Data were obtained by the NCHS and U.S. Census Bureau.

Principal Findings: States with small racial differences are due to higher-than-expected life expectancy for blacks or lower-than-expected for whites. States with large disparity are explained by higher-than-average life expectancy among whites or lower-than-average life expectancy among blacks.

Conclusions: Heterogeneous state patterns in racial disparity in life expectancy exist. Eliminating disparity in states with large black populations would make the greatest impact nationally.

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